AN EMPTY NEST

Hello!

It’s official: our son Austin will be CU Boulder Bound in the fall! In layman’s terms that means he will be attending the University of Colorado at Boulder. And, I’m about to have an empty nest. I’ve been trying to wrap my head around that concept for a while now. After a full 30 years of having kids in my nest, I’m about to be making a very big transition. Where did the time go?

CU #BOULDER BOUND | www.AfterOrangeCounty.com

The good news is Austin received a number of fat envelopes, giving him a lot of choices for colleges. And, at long last, after our recent visit to Boulder, (which you can read about here and here) he decided to commit to CU Boulder. To make it official, after a very long day of touring the campus, we walked into the admissions office, filled out the paperwork, and I wrote what is sure to be the first of many checks to the university.

CU #BOULDER BOUND | www.AfterOrangeCounty.com

So today I thought I’d give you a tour around the lovely, sprawling campus which will soon be my son’s new nest. While it’s not my nest, it’s not a bad place to be actually; in fact, it is considered to be one of the most spectacular college campuses in the country. Travel+Leisure magazine officially named it one of the most beautiful college campuses in the United States.

CU #BOULDER BOUND | Old Main | www.AfterOrangeCounty.com

It reminded us a lot of Duke University where our son Taylor went to school.

Duke University | www.AfterOrangeCounty.com

That’s because, like Duke, all of the buildings at CU Boulder are constructed of stone.

CU #BOULDER BOUND | www.AfterOrangeCounty.com

While the architectural style of the stone buildings at Duke is Gothic, the buildings at CU Boulder were designed in the Tuscan Vernacular Revival style. That was a mouthful! Duke used stone native to North Carolina, just as CU Boulder used native Colorado sandstone in the construction of nearly all the buildings on campus.

We started our tour here in the University Memorial Center.

CU #BOULDER BOUND | www.AfterOrangeCounty.com

This building, dedicated to the memory of Colorado’s Servicemen, is also the Student Union building, and is the central landmark of the Boulder campus. It houses a bookstore, where Austin purchased the obligatory sweatshirt, as well as the conference rooms where we attended the information sessions for admitted students. One of those rooms was named after famous alum, bandleader Glenn Miller.

CU #BOULDER BOUND | www.AfterOrangeCounty.com

CU #BOULDER BOUND | www.AfterOrangeCounty.comCU #BOULDER BOUND | www.AfterOrangeCounty.com

As the flagship university of the state of Colorado, CU Boulder sits in a commanding position at the base of the foothills of the Colorado Rocky Mountains.

CU #BOULDER BOUND | Eaton Humanities Building | www.AfterOrangeCounty.com

Photos Via

With Folsom Stadium as its centerpiece, it is hard to imagine a more beautiful setting for a university.

CU #BOULDER BOUND | www.AfterOrangeCounty.com

As an NCAA Division 1 school, CU Boulder is a member of the Pac 12 Conference and will compete against our hometown schools of UCLA and USC. Our son Taylor’s 4 years at Duke University turned us into huge Duke Basketball fans, but at Boulder the big sport is football.

CU #BOULDER BOUND | www.AfterOrangeCounty.com

While I’m not a huge football fan, I am actually looking forward to attending a football game in the newly expanded and remodeled Folsom stadium.

CU #BOULDER BOUND | Folsom Field | www.AfterOrangeCounty.com

Photo Via

Students who attend CU Boulder are called “BUFFS”. No, not for the reason you may be thinking. Their nickname is “Buffalo” and in a tradition dating back to 1934, CU Boulder has had a live mascot called Ralphie the “Buff”alo. However, Ralphie is actually a female Bison.

CU #BOULDER BOUND | Ralphie the Buffalo |  www.AfterOrangeCounty.com

Photo Via

Female bison are used because they are smaller and less aggressive, making it easier for her 5 student handlers to run her around the stadium during each home football game. I’m really looking forward to seeing that!

CU #BOULDER BOUND | Ralphie the Buffalo |  www.AfterOrangeCounty.com

Photo Via

At the heart of the campus is Farrand Field, a popular hangout for students.

CU #BOULDER BOUND | Ferrand Field | www.AfterOrangeCounty.com

It is here that you will find students relaxing on the expansive grassy field between classes, watching the CU Marching Band practice, playing frisbee or soccer, or attending one of the many concerts held here.

CU #BOULDER BOUND | www.AfterOrangeCounty.com

We visited the attractive and modern dormitories…

CU #BOULDER BOUND | www.AfterOrangeCounty.com

that were complete with common areas like this…

CU #BOULDER BOUND | www.AfterOrangeCounty.com

as well as communal kitchens like this. Having visited dozens of college campuses over the years with all 5 of my children, I found CU Boulder’s housing some of the best of the bunch.

CU #BOULDER BOUND | www.AfterOrangeCounty.com

It reminded me of the day I helped our son Taylor move into his Freshman dormitory at Duke. Hard to believe that was 5 years ago.

Duke University | www.AfterOrangeCounty.com

This time last year he was graduating from Duke and I wrote a blog post about the spectacular commencement ceremony here. I was reminded about that when the university contacted me a few weeks ago asking if they could use one of the photos I took at the graduation for Duke’s 2015 graduation website. I was honored and pleased to have them do that as seen here.

Duke University | www.AfterOrangeCounty.com

As you might imagine, CU Boulder attracts students with active lifestyles. So the university has some of the nicest recreational facilities I’ve seen on a college campus. Check out their rock climbing wall…

CU #BOULDER BOUND | www.AfterOrangeCounty.com

and their indoor pool…

CU #BOULDER BOUND | www.AfterOrangeCounty.com

as well as their outdoor pool that is shaped like their mascot, Ralphie the Buffalo.

CU #BOULDER BOUND | www.AfterOrangeCounty.com

Bikes and skateboards are a popular mode of transportation around the very large campus. I could have used a bike myself…

CU #BOULDER BOUND | www.AfterOrangeCounty.comCU #BOULDER BOUND | www.AfterOrangeCounty.com

as by the time we finished a day long visit to campus…

CU #BOULDER BOUND | www.AfterOrangeCounty.com

I was ready to soak my aching feet in this fountain!

CU #BOULDER BOUND | www.AfterOrangeCounty.com

We really enjoyed our visit to the University of Colorado at Boulder. It won’t be long before we will be returning for move-in day! And then I’ll really have an empty nest!

CU #BOULDER BOUND | www.AfterOrangeCounty.com

It’s very difficult just thinking about having an empty nest after all these years of kids under my roof. Are you an “Empty Nester”? If so, do you have any advice for me?

So there you have it:  AN EMPTY NEST

Thanks for dropping in!  Do please leave a comment below.  I’d love to hear from you!

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All opinions expressed in this post are my own. Unless otherwise credited, all photos are the original property of Celia Becker @ www.AfterOrangeCounty.com and may not be reproduced without specific permission.

Comments

  • diane

    I am an empty nester and must say that it does get easier but is never perfect! The best recipe is to combine lots of interests, a good relationship with your spouse and plenty of friends and you will find there is not enough time in the day to do it all. It takes a bit of practice to realize that your schedule is finally your own and if you want to go to a movie in the middle of the day in the middle of the week you can or head out of town on the spur of the moment just because you can. Congrats to your son and Boulder is a quick plane trip away!